Last Updated on December 24, 2021 by Cheryl Claypoole
Business First of Columbus recently published an interview with Friendship Village of Dublin Executive Director Rita Doherty in which she reflects on her experiences and lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic.
Leading Friendship Village of Dublin through a Public Health Crisis
“As the executive director of a senior living community in Dublin, Ohio, Covid-19 has been the crisis no one could have prepared me to lead through,” she said.
“Being responsible for human lives in the wake of an international public health crisis is both terrifying, heartbreaking and at the same time beautiful. I truly never thought anything like this could happen in my lifetime.”
“I remember in early 2020 someone briefly mentioning Covid, and me just thinking ‘huh, that’s weird.’ Little did I know, it would not only change the way every member of my team would have to function for years to come, but also change the course of time.”
Covid Affects Every Aspect of Operations
Rita described how her incredible team rose to the challenge of keeping residents healthy and happy during an unprecedented challenge.
“We’ve altered how we do everything at Friendship Village of Dublin — from cleaning apartments to performing building maintenance and how we communicate,” she said.
“There were days housekeepers were delivering meals because we needed every helping hand we could get. We halted construction on our new health center (which only recently opened) to protect our residents and staff.”
Our community also made significant investments in a healthy environment, including state-of-the-art air filtration and disinfection systems.
A Note of Gratitude
Rita concluded the interview by reflecting on her gratitude to everyone who works at, lives in and supports our senior living community.
“The best way I found to get through this monumental challenge is surrounding myself with the right people (personally and professionally) who help me when I’m down and through the mutual exchange of giving grace,” she wrote.
“I know through all of this, I’ve just felt so grateful — for how hard my team is working, how appreciative residents are and how supportive our board is. I’ve worked to look at everything and everyone through a lens of gratitude.”
“I have the best team in the world; I tear up just writing about them,” she added. “I could have never been an effective leader through this crisis without each and every one of them and our partner Central Ohio Primary Care (COPC).”
“Seeing the community pull together — residents, associates and families was just beautiful and the best of what we see in humanity,” she concluded. “During these times and whatever lies ahead, I just feel grateful to be at Friendship Village of Dublin.”